Econometrica: Sep, 1982, Volume 50, Issue 5
The Role of Information in Bargaining: An Experimental Study
Alvin E. Roth, J. Keith Murnighan
A fundamental assumption in much of game theory and economics is that all the relevant information for determining the rational play of a game is contained in its structural description. Recent experimental studies of bargaining have demonstrated effects due to information not included in the classical models of games of complete information. The goal of the experiment reported here is to separate these effects into components that can be attributed to the possession of specific information by specific bargainers, and to assess the extent to which the observed behavior can be characterized as equilibrium behavior. The results of the experiment permit us to identify such component effects, in equilibrium, including effects that depend on whether certain information is common knowledge or not. The paper closes with some speculation on the causes of these effects.